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Giving Back During NCW and IYC

It’s not only still the International Year of Chemistry, but it’s also National Chemistry Week! Yippee! Chemists are celebrating chemistry with students of all ages this week in lots of ways, but especially with hands-on demonstrations. The rest of the year, however, many public school teachers struggle to teach their students chemistry because they lack basic resources due to poor funding.

Can you imagine a chemistry class without chemicals or beakers or a periodic table poster?

CENtral Science is participating in the fantastic DonorsChoose Science Bloggers for Students campaign to help raise funds for public school classrooms in need of resources. CENtral Science is, naturally, focusing on the chemistry-related projects. And some of the requests are heartbreakingly basic, such as one from a teacher in Florida in need of thermometers, flasks, stopwatches, and beakers for her students. Another teacher of high-risk students wants to provide lab coats for his AP Chemistry class. Lots of other projects can be found at the CENtral Science giving page.

Terra Sigillata is also participating in the campaign. You can see the projects David is supporting on his “Chemistry With Kroll” page.

Any amount you can give, whether it be $5 or $100, will make a difference for and be appreciated by these students who are trying and eager to learn chemistry. Let’s give back to our communities and help teachers get what they need to teach chemistry.

What better way is there to celebrate National Chemistry Week and IYC 2011?

The Chemistry Carnival Is Now Closed

A quick update to thank all of you who participated in CENtral Science’s first blog carnival. So far, I’ve tallied at least 20 entries! David and I will work to get a roundup post together in the next couple of days. And stay tuned to see which ones will be published in an upcoming issue of C&EN (that will take a little longer to figure out).

It’s Chemistry Carnival Time!

A few weekends ago, I was with my young boys at our local mall checking out the kids entertainer, Ryan Buckle & Friends: Science you can sing to. Ryan, the singer, intersperses his songs with science demonstrations. We were there fairly early for a Saturday morning, so his audience was small and consisted mostly of toddlers and preschoolers – not the easiest crowd to entertain. Even though Ryan’s songs were fun to listen and dance to, it was the experiments that captured every one’s attention (yep, parents, too).

Ferrous Wheel

What's a chemistry carnival without a ferrous wheel? Hand-drawn "structure" credit: Jeff Dougan

Smoke vortex rings puffed air as they floated past our heads. Water “disappeared” from a cup thanks to a gel powder. And then came my favorite reaction of all time: The Diet Coke-Mentos geyser. Simple, sure, but way fun to do with kids. As the mints hit the soda, disrupting polar attractions between water molecules, even my two-year old was mesmerized by the foam spewing forth from the bottle.

In this International Year of Chemistry, it seems only natural that we should pay tribute to our favorite chemical reactions, be they as simple as a soda geyser or as sophisticated as the Diels-Alder.

So, come one, come all, to the greatest chemistry blog carnival this fall!

A blog carnival?

You betcha.

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IYC Weekly Round-up, 5/14-5/20

Here are some of the IYC happenings from the last week:

  • Today, May 20, is World Metrology Day. Go forth, and celebrate.
  • Be sure the check out the Peeps chemistry diorama Linda Wang wrote about earlier this week.
  • ACS President Nancy Jackson made her first of two appearances on the “The Best of Our Knowledge” radio program.
  • More than 800 students participated in hands-on activities during the two-day Malaysian Chemistry Carnival.
  • Impossible2possible launched its running expedition of Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world, where four youth ambassadors will also participate in chemistry experiments that will be broadcast live to participating schools and posted on the i2P website.
  • Part of Philosophically Disturbed’s Chemistry365 series, Magdeline Lum’s post about capillary action includes this mesmerizingly beautiful video:

IYC (Bi)Weekly Round-up, 4/30-5/13

Some of the IYC happenings from 4/30-5/13:

IYC Weekly Round-up, 4/23-4/29

Here are some of the weekly happenings from this last week:

IYC Weekly Round-up, 4/9-4/22

Another extended edition of the round-up this week, but offerings of video goodness abound.

But first, in honor of Earth Day, a quick look ahead: the next Cape Cod Science Cafe is next Friday, 4/29. The topic is alternative energy and sustainability, featuring Dan Nocera as the keynote speaker.

In other news:

  • The Philippines officially launched its IYC celebration with a kick-off event on Tuesday, April 12.
  • The Hindu ran a brief story about a vacation theater camp organized by the Regional Science Centre and Planetarium in Kozhikode, India. The theme of the camp? “The chemistry of theatre and the theatre in chemistry.”
  • UConn Today ran a Q&A on 4/18 with Mark Peczuh, associate professor of chemistry and chair of the ACS’s Connecticut Valley Section, entitled “Why Chemistry Matters to Everyone“. Bonus: here’s one of the video’s mentioned in the article,”Speak Simply”:

Finally, the video mother lode. Dow Chemical and The Franklin Institute released the first three videos in their “Celebrate Chemistry” series. Former ACS President Katie Hunt and TFI scientist Derrick Pitts demonstrate experiments kids can do at home. For your viewing pleasure:

IYC Weekly Round-up, 4/2-4/8

I made an egregious omission from last week’s round-up. I refer, of course, to the IYC Chemistry Dance from #ACSAnaheim:

Also on the video front, winners of the “It’s Elemental” video contest, sponsored by Dow Chemical and hosted by the Chemical Heritage Foundation, were announced yesterday. Eleven schools received grants from Dow, and all video submissions can be viewed from the contest page on CHF’s website.

IYC Weekly Round-up, 3/26-4/1

Some of the IYC happenings from last week:

Overdue IYC Weekly Round-up

Sorry for missing last week, folks. To make up for it, this edition will include items from the last two weeks, 3/12-3/25:

  • Science magazine’s March 18th issue included an editorial from Harry Gray and Jay Labinger on chemistry as the “central” science.
  • The Chemical Institute of Canada’s YouTube video contest, “It’s Chemistry, Eh?,” launched in February and submissions are due by April 22. Yes, I slipped in an old item, but we weren’t up and running when the contest started…
  • Congratulations to inorganic electrochemist Lesley Yellowlees, who was elected the first female president of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • Newscripts focused on commemorative chemistry stamps, including an image gallery, in the March 14th issue of C&EN.
  • World Water Day was March 22. ACS launched its Pennies for Pur Water campaign.

Stay tuned for IYC updates from the ACS national meeting in Anaheim next week.